During President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India for the Republic Day festivities, France discussed with Indian officials their concerns about the issues faced by French journalist Vanessa Dougnac. They talked about the potential cancellation of her Overseas Citizen of India card and her possible removal from the country.
Journalists from other countries who are working in India are supporting Vanessa Dougnac. They are asking the Indian government to help protect the important work of free journalism, which is a part of India’s democratic values.
During his visit to India on Republic Day, President Emmanuel Macron of France talked to Indian officials about the problems French journalist Vanessa Dougnac might be facing, including the risk of losing her special status in India and possibly being sent out of the country. Journalists from other countries who are in India have spoken out in support of Dougnac. They’re calling on India to honor its commitment to a free press, a key part of India’s democracy. Vanessa Dougnac has been accused of portraying India negatively in her reports, something she strongly rejects.
When questioned about the situation during his Friday news briefing on President Macron’s visit, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kawatra acknowledged that France had brought up the concern before and while Macron was in India.
Vanessa Dougnac, a journalist working for the French publications Le Point and La Croix, received a notice from India’s Home Ministry on January 19. This notice, which gave her two weeks to respond, was regarding the potential cancellation of her Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card due to supposed visa infractions.
Vanessa Dougnac must reply to the Indian authorities by February 2nd. After this, they will decide what to do about her OCI card. Dougnac, who is originally from France but married to an Indian, has spent 22 years living in India. She says that India is her home and she has never done anything against the country’s interests. Dougnac has asked for her privacy while this issue is being sorted out.
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The French government has spoken to Indian officials about Dougnac’s case both before and during President Macron’s visit. Vinay Mohan Kwatra, the Foreign Secretary of India, has said the focus is on whether Dougnac has followed the visa rules. He said that the French understand this and that Indian departments are looking into it thoroughly.
When questioned, Kwatra denied that Dougnac’s journalism work is linked to the visa issues she’s facing. He stressed that the case is purely about following the rules, and not about her work as a journalist.
In simple terms, the main point is whether Vanessa Dougnac has followed India’s rules. She is here with permissions, but it’s important to check if she has obeyed the law.
A group of 30 foreign journalists in India have written an open letter. They are worried because India might take away Dougnac’s special status because of her reporting.
These journalists respect Dougnac as an experienced reporter on South Asia. They say she has tried to clear up any confusion with the officials.
The letter talks about how it’s getting harder for foreign reporters to work in India. Those with special status like Dougnac face extra challenges due to new rules that aren’t very clear.
The journalists hope Dougnac’s situation is sorted out fast. It affects her job and her family. They are asking India to support journalists’ freedom because it’s part of being a democracy.
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